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Old 09-11-2007, 01:51 AM   #1
RadicalEd
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Default Keggin' Root Beer

Ok fellas, I need you help. I set up a corny of Gnome Root Beer up in my fridge a few days ago, but for the life of me I can't properly control the carbonation! I'd seen threads on here suggesting anywhere from 15 to 30 PSI, so that's where I put it for a couple days, but the entire cup when poured what foam. I tried massively reducing the pressure to less than 5 PSI, but there's still a lot of foam, and little carbonation left over when it subsides. I'm running 5-6 ft of 3/16th tubing to the faucet. I'm really stumped here, any advice would be welcome!

Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-11-2007, 05:13 PM   #2
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In order to carbonate root beer to a level that is similar to store bought root beer, or any soda, you will need to carbonate it to 30psi at about 40˚F. In order to do that, you must balance out that high pressure with a longer length of 3/16" ID beverage tubing.

I have a dedicated soda tap on my kegerator. I run 35' of 3/16" ID beverage tubing, coiled up in the back and zip tied. I get a perfect pour and virtually no foam. You will never get anything but foam if you carbonate to 30 psi and serve through only 5' of tubing. Even if you turn down the pressure to 5 psi when you serve you will get nothing but foam because the root beer still has the volumes of CO2 in solution from carbonating to 30 psi.

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Old 09-11-2007, 09:23 PM   #3
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Ditto what John says.

I have my first batch of root beer at 40 deg F and 25PSI with 20 ft of 3/16 hose coiled up. The mug fills up fairly quick with a good head of foam but it dies down and then I top it off. There is still plenty of carbonation in the soda and tastes great.

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Old 09-12-2007, 12:06 AM   #4
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Holy schikey, that's a lot of tubing! I guess I need to go get some more; hopefully HD or Lowes has 20-30ft sections so I don't have to splice (I'm way to cheap to buy that length by the foot ).

Thanks for the advice fellas. I thought I had read earlier that since 3/16 was so restrictive, that it would only take 5 ft to get a proper pour at higher pressures; guess I read wrong!

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Old 09-12-2007, 12:46 AM   #5
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You most likely are not going to find 3/16" ID thick walled, smooth bore beverage tubing at a hardware store. It would also totally defeat the purpose of going with a longer length of tubing for the purpose of balancing your system if you try to splice two lengths of tubing together. The point of the splice would create a restriction and knock the CO2 out of solution, causing foaming.

It's cheaper in the long run to do it right the first time than to get the wrong stuff and have to do it over. JMO

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Old 09-12-2007, 01:58 AM   #6
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Good point on a splice not being a good idea...Once again reality and my laziness are in perfect alignment! (Or is that for once? )

I guess then it's another run to the LHBS. At least the tubing's only $.29/ ft., so even 35 ft would only run ~$10. And I completely agree, it's always cheaper done right first.

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Old 09-12-2007, 05:07 PM   #7
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being brand new to kegs I found 3/16 tubing at HD for 5 bux for 20 feet. I just have picnic taps, and my root beer is all foam too, unless I turn it down to no carb land.
This carbonation thing is a little hard to master, and having 3 taps in my sunroom may not be a good idea if I want to avoid alcoholism!
Norm

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Old 09-12-2007, 11:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Movinfr8
being brand new to kegs I found 3/16 tubing at HD for 5 bux for 20 feet.
Does the 3/16" ID tubing that you got at HD look like what is pictured below, with the thick walls? If not, it is not beverage tubing and will not drop the pressure sufficiently to balance your system unless an excessive length of it is used. Thin walled tubing will expand under pressre, effectively increasing its inner diameter.

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Old 09-12-2007, 11:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Movinfr8
being brand new to kegs I found 3/16 tubing at HD for 5 bux for 20 feet.
Does the 3/16" ID tubing that you got at HD look like what is pictured below, with the thick walls? If not, it is not beverage tubing and will not drop the pressure sufficiently to balance your system unless an excessive length of it is used. Thin walled tubing will expand under pressre, effectively increasing its inner diameter.

You will also need to use a longer length of the correct tubing when using a picnic tap as opposed to a faucet.

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Old 09-13-2007, 12:28 AM   #10
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One more thing to consider - after you've served root beer, the tap, lines, and keg will be utterly permeated with root beer aroma and flavor. It will take MONTHS and 10's of gallons of beer to flush all traces of root beer from the system, regardless of your cleaning methods.

A brown ale or porter would be a good next brew - they can benefit from the accidental flavors introduced.

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